Welcome!

PUBLIC HOURS

June 13, 2021

With the move to Step 1 of reopening in Ontario, the City of Richmond Hill has approached us to request that we reinstate public hours. Starting this weekend we will reserve for public use two courts from 1 to 5 PM on weekdays and one court from 2 to 5 PM on weekends as per the existing signage. Note that, on occasion, we may move the public hours from courts 5 & 6 to other courts to keep the lessons contained in the south courts.

Please check the booking calendar to identify the right courts. They will be marked as Public / Drop In and, while you won't be able to book them, you will be able to play on them on a first-come basis, as any other public court.

With new rules on outdoor gatherings we are removing the no-spectator rule on the club. However social distancing should still be respected and no more than 10 people should be in close proximity. Those waiting to play must remain respectful of those playing and avoid loud voices or any type of distractions. The clubhouse will remain closed.   

We are now one step closer to normality. Let's hope progress continues to be made and the rest of restrictions are removed soon.

Sincerely,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


ADJUSTMENTS TO COURT BOOKING SETTINGS AND ORGANIZED PLAY

June 8, 2021

After two weeks of using the new booking system, we now have a better understanding of how the courts are being filled in. Based on your feedback, we have introduced the following changes:

1. The number of available active bookings each member will be allowed in the system at any given time, is expanded from 1 to 2. As previously explained, the original limitation was introduced to prevent courts from being overbooked, so that everyone could have a chance to get a court in a reasonable timeframe. With the new setting you will be able to have two future bookings in place at a time. Once you play the first one, you can make another booking again within the following 7 days based on availability. If you intend to book more than twice in a 7-day rolling week, always book the earliest dates first, so that you can book again and again after you play. Bear in mind though, that with 2 bookings at a time per member, we expect the number of open courts to be reduced. Walk-on play opportunities will also be reduced as more courts book up. Please check the booking system to look for open courts (in green), before heading to play without a booking. If we find that there are not enough courts for members who want to book courts, we may revert to one booking at a time per member.

2. We are now offering the possibility of a 1-hour doubles booking. Originally, we had not considered this option as most players prefer 2 hours, but this will allow players to book open time slots when only isolated 1-hr time slots are available. Note that the number of available bookings is still two per member at one time, regardless of whether they are 1-hr singles, 2-hr doubles or 1 hr-doubles, or any combination of these.

3. 2-hr doubles bookings on weekday evenings will be limited to 5-7 PM, 7-9 PM, and 9-11 PM, to accommodate as many doubles matches as possible. In other words, two hours of doubles cannot be booked at 6 PM or 8 PM on weekday evenings. This will ensure that a 1-hour time slot is not left open. At 6 PM, you may book singles or one hour of doubles. You may not make any bookings beginning at 8 PM on weeknights (only 7 or 9 PM starts). Remember that singles bookings are not allowed on weekday evenings between 7 and 11 PM.

We will monitor these new settings and based on your feedback we will consider further adjustments.

Here are a few tips and reminders on usage:

- You need to add your playing friends into your booking buddy list before making any court bookings. To do so, you need to send your buddy link by email (found on your dashboard after you log into the booking system with the credentials emailed to you) to your playing group. If you receive an invitation to add a buddy to your list, please sign into the booking system BEFORE clicking on the link.

- Add the names of all players who will be on court when booking. You need 4 names for doubles and 2 names for singles.

- Please upload your pictures (it can be uploaded directly from your phone, or a photo can be taken on your computer), so that we can ensure that the people that booked the courts are members and are actually the players on the court.

- Please report any cases of no-show on a booked court that you become aware of to: manager@rhltc.ca. The rules provide for a 7-day loss of booking privileges if someone fails to show for their booked court. Cancellations can still be made up to one hour before the court time. Please always cancel your courts if you are not going to use them. Given the demand for court time, we cannot afford to have courts booked and not used.

- We still have an open ticket with the vendor to enable members to edit a name on the booking. Until that change is made, if you need to replace a player, cancel the booking and re-book right away with the correct players.

- Please be aware that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, we may release some 9 pm courts just a few hours before play when we finalize our organized matches. If you are looking for weekday courts, make sure you check for these open courts regularly.

- Check the court booking rules if you are not fully familiar with them.


Organized Play

On a separate note, we started organized matches last week on Monday to Thursday evenings. The inability to run tryouts, due to limitations on gatherings may have resulted in some imbalance of playing levels. You should expect some adjustments as we make sure groups are properly balanced. If you have not yet signed up for mixed organized tennis in the evening or daytime ladies (2.5 level and above) and over 55 tennis (3.0 level and above), please send an email to manager@rhltc.ca.

Sincerely,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


ON ORGANIZED MATCHES AND COURT BOOKING (PART 2)

May 26, 2021

Following up on the note I sent yesterday now that we have made progress on both topics.

First, once again remember to sign up for evening organized matches for House League and Inter County levels. There has been a good pickup in the last 24 hours, but I am very certain some of you are still missing. On Friday May 28th we will close the lists for matches to be played next week.

On the court booking front, as I anticipated yesterday, we have now onboarded all members in the booking system and everyone can use it. Only members who have renewed or signed up for the 2021 season can use the booking system. I have seen non-paying members attempts to sign up, but accounts created this way won’t work without a valid membership.

As explained in the previous update, we rushed the rollout after the government announcement late last week and that has caused some of the issues you have experienced with credentials and access links. Now that everyone is on board, those basic issues should be resolved. We have created a court booking section in the member-only area of our website, where you can always find the link to the bookings system and additional information on instructions and rules. We will develop the area further in the coming weeks.

A couple of practical tips that should help some. (1) If you have trouble with your password, you can always select the “forgot password” option and request a new temporary password to regain access. It is important though, that you use the same email address you are registered with as member at our site, as they are linked. (2) Adding other members to your buddy list is very simple. In your dashboard there is a unique link that belongs to you. If you send that link by email to your playing partners, they will become your booking buddies automatically once they click on the link and log in their respective account. For those who have different email systems it may be easier to copy and paste the link and select their email of choice. Some of you have asked why we need to create these circles of friends to book, and the answer is that, without them, we could have members booking other members inadvertently and using up their booking rights, given that courts are already paid for. It may be one extra step now, but it only must be done once, and it makes booking easier after.

I understand that change is seldom easy and that for some of you the booking system raises question marks. I would like you to be patient and see how it influences your playing time and overall experience. Right now, some of you are feeling discomfort about having to work with a new tool and as someone has told me today, you should be playing tennis rather than playing with computers. I am very confident that, once set up, the system will be easy to use, that we all will figure out the best way to book based on our playing preferences, and that we will be playing more tennis and using the available court time better.

The system itself has some opportunities, but I want you to understand that we are trialing the functionality and using a fraction of what the system offers. We will use your feedback to make adjustments that are within the scope of what we can address, but further improvements will take place in the future if we go ahead with an integrated site.

Likewise, we will monitor the use of the court and listen to your feedback in case we have opportunities to improve the booking rules. We have taken a conservative approach so far, to ensure the supply of court time exceeds the potential demand of playing time. Remember that open courts are available to use by members without the need to book, on a first-come, first-served basis. And also, remember that organized matches are coming up next week.

Thank you again for your patience. Looking forward to more tennis talk and less computer talk.

Sincerely,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


ON ORGANIZED MATCHES AND COURT BOOKING

May 25, 2021

I wanted to provide an update and clarify some aspects of the changes we are introducing this year with the court booking system. Before that though, so that you don’t miss it, please remember to sign up for our evening organized matches for House League and Inter County level players if you have not done so yet, even if you used to play in previous years. I know by the numbers that we are missing many of you and need to organize the groups evenly. We will start next week with those who have signed up by Friday May 28th.

Now back to the court booking. We have received feedback from some of you, either directly or indirectly and I believe that some context will help mitigate the concerns you have expressed.

Let’s start with the why, as some of you think that things were working well with the tag system. The request for a booking system has been made repeatedly over the years but became a major topic last year with COVID-19 and was expressed as such at the AGM. Some members have established playing groups and they want to have certainty that they will be able to play when they come in, as they have limited time and cannot wait around. Besides, the usage of our courts is very uneven. We have members lining up to play at certain times and empty courts for big parts of the day. By giving you the chance to book a court, we are expecting to distribute playing time throughout the week across all members and avoid congregations of people waiting to play.

Having the ability to book courts does not mean that you cannot play without a booking if courts are open. I understand that some anxiety has built up around not being able to play this week until you cannot book. You can still play if courts are not booked. Going forward we need to observe how courts are booked and used, to know if we have struck a good balance between the supply of court time and the demand for playing time, but we will make adjustments if necessary.

Secondly, some context on the system itself. We have been working on it with a new provider for the last few months and after we went in lockdown, we had been planning to be ready for a reopening on June 2nd. The announcement by the government last week didn’t give us much notice and we thought we would have it ready by the end of the weekend. In hindsight, it would have been better for us to wait a few more days and avoid some of the issues we have run into.

The system should be stable now, but we need to bring everyone on board. We had preloaded everyone who had signed up for membership by April 30th and expected to have the rest loaded during the weekend. However, because we run into technical issues, we had to delay the load, which will be completed in the next 48 hours. Please don’t try to log in if you have not received your credentials, even if someone else sends you the link. We will send a note confirming once everyone has been set. Wait until you receive that confirmation to raise access issues.

Once we have all members loaded in the system, we will make the link available on our site for access to members only, and we will look at further integration in the off season if the trial is successful so that you only need one single set of credentials as a member.

In terms of how the system works, now that it is stable and hopefully free of bugs, it should be relatively easy to use. There is a link in your dashboard that is unique for every member. Send that link by email to other members whom you want to book courts with, and they will be added to your list. Once you have your booking buddies list created, it is quick and easy to book a court.

Lastly, I wanted to ask for some patience as we work through the last steps of the setup and the first stages of usage. Change always represents a challenge, but we truly believe that once we all become used to it, it will feel natural and will give you the opportunity to play casual tennis with less hassle. We all will figure out the best way of booking our time depending on how frequently we want play, and we will have an established network of booking buddies, so it won’t be difficult to use.

Some of you have expressed concerns with the number of rules this comes with. It is no different from the number of rules we needed for the tag board system. In other clubs, when you pay for your booking, the payment and the constant monitoring work as controlling elements, but with free booking and no constant monitoring we need to provide a reference frame to ensure your booking is respected and prevent some from using the system to their advantage against the fairness it is meant to provide. We are not the only club who uses a booking system with no charge and the feedback received from those who have played with those systems in other clubs is very positive. I am confident that once the system is in use by all and we become used to it, we will feel more comfortable.

Ultimately, we want to ensure we are providing the best experience for all and, as previously said, we will adjust if we have to, in pursuit of this goal.

Sincerely,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


WE ARE OPEN AGAIN!

May 21, 2021

The provincial government announced yesterday that tennis clubs, among other outdoor activities, are allowed to reopen, ahead of the end of the stay-at-home order. Thank you to all of you who have voiced your concern and helped the government realize that playing outdoor tennis, respecting basic hygiene and distancing rules, is safe. We will open the club tomorrow, Saturday May 22nd, at 8 AM.

While playing tennis is allowed, there are multiple restrictions in place for gatherings and distancing. The rules previously laid out for April will continue to be in effect for the time being. Please review them before you come to play.

Please note that the club house will remain closed. We have been told that city washrooms at the back of the club house will be open, however we suggest that you always come to the courts with enough water in case they are not accessible. Please also note that there will be NO SPECTATORS allowed on our courts at any time. This means that if you arrive before your court time, you must wait outside the gates of the club. If you want to watch someone else playing, you must watch from outside of the fence. We understand that at non-busy times, it may not be dangerous for one or two people to be waiting inside the club. However, we have to invoke a very clear rule of no spectators at any time, because we don't always have a monitor available to determine when there are too many people gathering together inside the club. By having a clear rule that everyone must follow, we can ensure safety for all. Last season the monitors had to continually ask members to wait outside. This season, we will revoke booking privileges for one week for any members who do not respect this rule.

Our new online court booking system will be available for courts to be booked beginning on Monday. We will send out an email over the weekend with the court booking rules and you will receive a second email with information on how to log onto the court booking system to book your courts for Monday onwards. In order for you to reserve playing time you will need to have signed up and paid your membership. Please complete your membership renewal if you have not done so yet, so that we can set you up to reserve court time. For this weekend only, courts can be reserved by members only using the tag board. You may use your tag from last year or any tag/keychain if you do not have a tag from last season. The tag board was as explained in our previous communication on April 14th.

Considering the restrictions existing on sports leagues until further steps in the reopening plan for Ontario, we will implement a similar system as we did last year for organized recreational friendly matches at Intercounty and House League levels. Evening organized matches will start the week of May 31st. Please remember to express your interest by filling in this form  for us to balance out the groups if you haven’t done so yet. Groups will be created with members who have registered by Friday, May 28th. Members may continue to join our organized in-house recreational friendly play after this date, but won’t be able to play the first week. Daytime in-house recreational play will resume this week for ladies and mixed over 55 groups. For these organized recreational friendly matches, players need to be at a C intercounty level or above. If you have not already signed up for daytime play and wish to do so, please send an email to VP@rhltc.ca.

At this point, given the short length of the closure from our usual opening of May 1st, we won’t be offering partial refunds on membership. However, to compensate for the missing time, we won’t charge fees for in-house or house league play to those playing in organized matches. Additionally, we will push organized matches until the end of September / beginning of October (weather permitting), instead of the traditional mid to end of August wrap up.

Finally, once again, don’t forget to renew your membership to have access to organized matches and court reservation. I will personally follow up with those who have signed up and not paid. As of June 10th, old and unpaid memberships will lapse, and they won’t receive further email updates.

Looking forward to a summer full of tennis!

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


CLUB CLOSED

April 17, 2021

The situation with the third wave of COVID-19 in Ontario has worsened and following the new provincial regulations announced today, all recreational facilities have been closed as of 12:01 AM April 17th. Unfortunately, this impacts our club, which will remain closed until restrictions ease.

In the meantime, we will continue working to restart with all our tennis programs as soon as it is permitted. At this point, the expectation is to be back sometime mid-May, which would allow us to pick up organized tennis close to our normal start time. Should we incur in further delays, we would evaluate option of offering refunds.

If you have not done so yet, don’t forget to renew your membership, and to register for House League and In-house Intercounty level play. The early bird rates will remain in place until we can open, and all organized play will be offered at no extra cost.

Stay safe. Hope to see you back on the courts soon.

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


CLUB UPDATE

April 9, 2021

It has been a few weeks since we welcomed you to a new season and, as we approach Opening Day, it is time to start getting organized for the season.

As you know we are currently under a stay-at-home order in the Province of Ontario. Fortunately for us, tennis has been considered a physical activity that is allowed under the list of exceptions to leave home. However, it is important that we respect health and safety regulations as well as playing rules. If you are intending to play now, please read Spring 2021 Playing Rules.

Organized programs are slotted to start in May, and we are now beginning the planning process. We are waiting for confirmation on start date for Intercounty leagues. Until IC is underway, we will be arranging intercounty level matches Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, while House League will return to its usual format on Wednesday evenings.

If you want to participate in evening organized matches or in the House League, please fill in this form  indicating your level and the additional information requested. Please note that we are trying to have about the same numbers of players in each level, so we reserve the right to place players in different levels and make adjustments at any time in order to provide opportunities for everyone to play evenly matched tennis. When intercounty play begins, we will try to continue with some in-house play for A to C level players, but the nights and number of available courts will likely change. Regular House League players who do not play intercounty, will not be affected.

There is no additional charge if you have renewed your membership. Don’t forget to register if you have not done so yet.

We also want to announce the implementation this year of an online booking system to reserve playing time at the club to eliminate the need to wait for court time. We are working to launch it by Opening Day. Stay tuned for more details soon.

Looking forward to a more normal season this year. Let’s do our part to keep everyone safe. Please read the rules. 

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club


WELCOME TO THE 2021 SEASON AT RHLTC

March 7, 2021

The spring is around the corner and it is time to start thinking on the 2021 outdoor tennis season. Many things have happened since we said goodbye in November and, while we are still living the rollercoaster experience that started one year ago, I am confident that soon we will recover a semblance of normality.

To help you feel closer to it, we are opening registration for the 2021 season [LINK]. We intend to run the club as close to normal as the conditions allow, with lessons, leagues, and Intercounty play. We cannot confidently lay out how we will structure our programs yet, as it will be subject to the regulations we face after May, but as we did last year, we will maximize the opportunities for all of you to play.

The fees for the 2021 season remain at the same amounts as in previous years, with an early bird discount if you complete your registration before Opening Day (May 1st):

Adult Membership - $105 ($95 early bird rate – before May 1st)

Family Membership - $250 ($230 early bird rate – before May 1st)

Junior Membership - $35

Take advantage of the early bird fees. All of those who have signed up before Opening Day will be able to pick up their membership tags on May 1st.

We won’t be collecting additional fees for House League or Intercounty at this point. Once we are closer to Opening Day and we have more certainty about the different options to play we will provide instructions to sign up and pay the corresponding fees.

We continue to offer lessons for kids and adults under the supervision of our Pro Adam Johnston. Registration for spring lessons is already open through our website [LINK]. Sign up before it is too late.

Although the season starts officially on May 1st, we will endeavour to have the nets up as soon as the weather allows after April 1st. We will also try to bring the windscreens up as early as possible so that we can enjoy the better conditions they provide. Stay tuned for our call to assist with the installation.

Looking forward to seeing you on the courts very soon!

Regards,  
David Garcia
President Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club

Tennis Lessons

Questions about our tennis lessons? You can reach us by email or telephone.

Email: lessons@rhltc.ca

Telephone: (416) 835-4972

Club Operations

Club Manager: manager@rhltc.ca

Address:
161 Newkirk Road,
Richmond Hill, ON
(We're located at Crosby Park)

"I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all, I love to play". Boris Becker
                                                                                                                                       
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